When I was a child, my mother told me once that I have to play by the rules of the system, the world, so that I can stand out and, well, “get picked”. Only after getting picked, stepping up to a position in that system, that world, can I have the power to change the rules. Playing by the rules to eventually change the rules. That became my motto for a few years.
Until i found out how much I hated doing that. Pleasing the people who have the power to pick, to judge, to make decisions. What’s more, I noticed that I didn’t have to change the rules, the system, the world I’m trying to get in. Because the rules are changing by themselves, too.
And this topic – do we please the middle person or the person at the end of the line, the readers and viewers – is proof that the rules have changed. There’s still the way to get picked by The New Yorker; but it’s not the only way.
It’s not the only way. What a relief!
I am writing for “selfish” reasons in the first place. I am, like many others, creating because we want to please ourselves, to make our own worlds better, more interesting, shinier, with confetti maybe. But then we are looking for the most important souls out there whom we are desperately speaking to, reaching out for some echoes, some resonance, some sparks.
I can still try to get my article picked by some publishers, since it’s still easier and faster to reach more eyeballs through their platforms. But it’s important for me to know I don’t have to do it to reach others, the second most important person(s) in my creative life – my audience, readers, and viewers.
Who are you creating for?